The road home can be a steep climb. Sometimes there’s unexpected twists and turns. Some days the journey is through wind and rain or ice and snow. Some days are full of warm sunshine and the trees are full of singing birds. The journey home can be long. Blessed is the one who is joined by companions who encourage you to continue on. Even if they can’t travel along beside you every day. The warm smile in greeting and the voice that speaks gentle words of encouragement was a greater gift than you ever knew. It shouldn’t come as a shock that you made it home first. You should know that those encouraging words will echo in my memory until the day that I also approach that gate that marks the end of the journey. I won’t be surprised to see your smile or listen to the excitement in your voice as the gate opens up to welcome us home.
In honor of Billy. I’ll see you when I get home too.
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I remember when the crosses started showing up along the highways. The man who started this project was Bernard Coffindafferand He was from Craigsville, West Virginia. Not too far from my home. He was certainly a man on a mission. My understanding is that the Spirit of God spoke to him and gave him a commission for the work that needed to be done. He was a six year veteran of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and as a Former Marine nothing was going to stand in his way.
I never met him personally that I can remember but I remember the talk in the county. He had a lot support from his brothers and sisters in Christ but he also faced a lot criticisms and laughter. He didn’t let negative opinions get in the way. He just stood for what he believed in and continued to work anyway. I have read that the project never ended even though Bernardpassed away in 1993. I have also read that some of crosses have been planted in the Philippines and Africa. It just shows that when God gives you some inspiration you should go with it. You might not realize how far it will go or how many lives will be touched.
“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”Mark 16:6
We have a tendency to think of Mary and her companions walking mournfully through a beautiful garden to meet the angel. But I think it was much bleaker than that.
The morning had finally arrived. The small party of four people walked along the dusty road carrying the supplies needed to care for the body which was in the borrowed tomb. It had to be the worst weekend in history. They had lost a son, brother, teacher and friend to an angry mob. The murder was brutal and carried out in full view of the public. The landscape they passed through had suffered earthquakes and unnatural darkness. The main temple was in ruins. The vail that protects the holiest of holies was utterly destroyed and the sacred place violated. If you have lived through a natural disaster then you have an idea of the shock and fear. There’s such a sense of instability that it’s overwhelming. This was so much worse. They would have passed by families who were beginning the clean up process. Families would have been huddled around those who needed comfort. The men would be trying to rebuild while on the lookout for looters. The Roman soldiers would be trying to keep order while offering assistance.
As they arrived at the tomb and saw the stone removed it would have at first seemed like the earthquake had shaken it loose. The next thought would have been of Vandals. But then the angel spoke and hope returns to the world like the morning sunshine. The dark clouds are burned away and light washes through the land.